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Contents Business 14 FIRST WORD
Attaining work life balance
16 INVESTMENT DESTINATION Tapping into Sudan’s riches
The rise of Turkish Airlines
22 Entrepreneurship Loulou Khazen Baz
24 Cover Story Oprah Winfrey
30 Entrepreneurship Revolutionizing sportswear
Organic café CEO
36 Tech entrepreneurs The gaming industry
38 Global Citizenship
Caribbean open to Gulf investors
A Small World CEO Sabine Heller
44 Social enterprise Dumyé dolls
46 Entrepreneurship Matches.com
The world’s oldest candlemaker
50 Profile Chef Izu Ani
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6 GC September / October 2013
right to your door. We deliver in the UAE to subscribers so be the first to get your hands on the latest issue.
52 gizmos and gadgets
The latest and greatest gadgets
Adastra super yacht
58 Downtown Dining
Downtownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newest dining spots
Posture and Breathing
Seoul searching in South Korea
70 Little Black Book Warsaw
BOLD Bespoke Design
56 2013 September / October GC 7
Stories to Inspire
editorial DIRECTOR Ritu Upadhyay - firstname.lastname@example.org Senior editor Natasha Tourish - email@example.com Lifestyle Editor Aysha Majid - firstname.lastname@example.org ART DIRECTOR Omid Khadem - email@example.com CONTRIBUTORS Tahira Yaqoob, Nausheen Noor, Sandra Tinari Mona Alami, Heba Hashem, Shane Phillips Printed by Masar Printing and Publishing www.global-citizen.com www.facebook.com/GlobalCitizenMag
ne of the greatest joys for our team here at GC is having the opportunity to delve into the inspiring stories of the entrepreneurs, executives, humanitarians and more who are shaping our world—in the Middle East and beyond. This month, Oprah Winfrey graces our cover, a true symbol of global citizenry who transcends cultures and inspires with her own personal story of triumph and success. Also in this issue don’t miss our interview with a local star from the culinary world, Chef Izu Ani of La Serre, who shares his innovative formula for success in the competitive food industry. We also bring you the story of two developers from Lebanon who are paving the way for the local gaming industry in the region. In Lifestyle, editor Aysha Majid whisks us away to some of the world’s most luxurious getaways in the hotels feature. Also travel writer Nausheen Noor travels to Seoul, South Korea to share with us why this city has fast become Asia’s new hotspot. Enjoy this issue and as always, we love to hear from you, so please connect!
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RITU UPADHYAY Editorial Director
8 GC September / October 2013
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10 GC September / October 2013
Nausheen Noor is a freelance journalist based in Dubai. She is the author of the blog, Dubai Bites and is a frequent contributor to The National, BBC Good Food, Esquire, and Ahlan! Gourmet. Prior to moving to Dubai, she worked in non-profit management in New York.
Shane Phillips is a leading Executive Search Consultant in the region and Managing Director of Shane Phillips Consultants, a local boutique search firm. Shane hosts his own show on Dubai Eye 103.8 every Thursday at 8pm called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Eye On Careers.â&#x20AC;?
Mona Alami is a French journalist based in Beirut. She travels around the region reporting on business and political affairs. She regularly reports in both English and French for IPS (an international newswire) and USA Today and produces documentaries for Al Aan TV.
Heba Hashem is a freelance journalist based between Abu Dhabi and Cairo. She reports regularly on the solar and nuclear power sectors for CSP Today and Nuclear Energy Insider. She has a B.A. in Communications and Media Studies from Middlesex University.
Tahira Yaqoob is a freelance journalist with 18 years experience in newspapers and magazines. She spent seven years at the Daily Mail as a news reporter and served as deputy showbusiness editor before moving to the UAE in 2008. She worked as a senior features writer at The National for four years before freelancing full time.
Sandra Tinari is an Australian business and luxury lifestyle journalist based in Dubai. With 19 years media experience, she contributes to publications around the world including The Financial Times and Sunday Times. Sandra has also worked as an editorial consultant in London for leading corporate firms, such as HSBC, Savills Plc and Four Seasons.
Image courtesy of Gettyimages
Horticulturists in an eastern French town have discovered a bright new way t o m a k e t h e i r f l o w e r s l a s t l o n g e r. T h e heather is usually pink, but had lost its sparkle and turned brown so they decided to dye it!
Colour me Pink
the Big Picture
P e r s p e c t i v e s f r o m t h e to p
Striking the Perfect Balance Juggling the demands of leadership and the rest of your life is one of the biggest challenges for leaders. GC speaks to some of the UAEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s busiest CEOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about work-life balance and whether or not it differs in the East and West. By shane phillips
CEO, Bank Dhofar
"The very phrase work-life balance suggests that the two cannot be achieved together; i.e. you are either working or living. I disagree. The role of the CEO is about enjoying working whilst delivering results."
CEO, Mubadala GE Capital
"The UAE and the broader region is primarily a relationship based economy. Deeper working relationships bode well for a more enjoyable working experience making work life balance less of an issue and more of a benefit to working in the Middle East region."
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Country Manager, UAE ABN AMRO
‘Work hard, play hard’ can be used quite literally in Dubai. It all comes down to your attitude in living. My attitude says, work and life are perfect compliments and the UAE has everything on offer for all to enjoy.”
CEO, Al Hilal Bank
“Today you are competing against the entire world. You have to be smart, you have to be focused, you have to work hard. I think no matter where you are in the world today, those in the top 10% of their profession are committed and end up working longer hours. That doesn’t change if you are in London, Dubai, or Shanghai.”
Global CEO, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited
“The young generation in the Middle East is different than the one preceding it, very much like in the West. In both regions, their views about how, when and where work can be done differs from prior generations. They tend to be super-achievers and demand much greater work-life balance. Middle East labour laws may not yet offer the flexible work arrangements present in the West, but progress is being made.”
2013 September / October GC 15
Khartoum: Jewel Of The Desert
Tapping into SudaN's Riches Sudan may have lost a portion of its territory and oil reserves, but out of this emerged a stronger economy, with doors wide open for foreign investment.
olted by the loss of most of its oil reserves with South Sudan’s secession in 2011, Sudan is turning its focus onto its own resources—an estimated 940 tonnes of gold reserves, 2,000 billion tonnes of iron, 150 million tonnes of copper, and millions of hectares of arable land. For GCC countries most of which are highly dependent upon imports to meet their food requirements, Sudan’s fertile earth and plentiful water from the Nile make it a highly profitable destination for agricultural investments. “Sudan has enough agricultural land and fresh water resources to feed the Arab world. It also has one of the
16 GC September / October 2013
Sudan’s fertile land is attracting GCC investors
largest live stocks in the region,” says Haytham El Nazir, chief operation officer at Khartoum’s Haggar Holding Company, which owns a diverse group of businesses, including Pasgianos Food & Beverage, Coldair Engineering, and Sudasat, the largest providers of VSAT services throughout Sudan. Livestock exports earned Sudan around $408 million by the end of November 2012. This was an increase from roughly $333 million earned in 2011, according to El Nazir. Sudan’s crops have indeed attracted a line-up of interested investors. This year alone, Lebanon’s GLB Invest announced it was investing $800 million in Sudan’s
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agricultural projects to produce animal feed that would be sold in Saudi Arabia, while the kingdom’s National Agricultural Development Company is discussing an agricultural investment with Sudan’s Al-Zawaya Company. “We understand that particularly in Saudi Arabia, there will be less dependence on agriculture, because they’re trying to conserve water for drinking rather than use it in irrigation. In Sudan, there’s plenty of water coming from the Blue Nile and White Nile, so there are investment projects to compensate for what will not be produced in Saudi Arabia for instance,” explains Nicholas Borg, general manager of the Corinthia Hotel Khartoum, a sister property of the flagship London hotel.
Image courtesy of Gettyimages
Lack of foreign currency Meanwhile, Hadi Property Investment firm has been mulling with a Turkish partner a 100,000-acre project to produce wheat, soya, sorghum and animal feed in Sudan’s northern state. But the Saudi firm said that unless the government allowed it to repatriate at least some profits abroad, it would halt its project, which is still at a feasibility study stage. “The problem with the central bank
is whenever you want to transfer money they tell you there are no dollars,” head of the company, Mohammed Hadi alBarqawi, said on the sidelines of an Arab food security conference in Khartoum. Although Sudan has passed a good investment legal frame which allows investors to recoup 60 percent of profits, the law still needs to be implemented. “The main challenges facing Sudan at present is to pass the transition period after the split of Southern Sudan. The economy is expected to recover gradually in two to three years on the back of a sound revival of agriculture, an increase in oil production, a strong performance of gold exports and robust absorptive capacity,” El Nazir said. He too admits that the biggest barrier to doing business in Sudan at the moment is the lack of foreign currencies and instability in exchange rate. However, he stresses that the country aims to increase the production of oil, gold and agriculture to offset the lack of foreign currencies to stabilize the economy. Markets to watch Despite the losses incurred by Sudan after the separation of the southern region, more than 2,900 km of pipelines,
refineries, processing units and exporting terminals remain under Sudan’s ownership. And with the recent discovery of 260 tonnes of gold near Abu Hamad Township in River Nile state earlier this year, it is easy to see why foreign investors are flocking to the country. Nearly 100 companies have obtained licenses from the Sudanese government to begin prospecting, and the government expects 20 firms to be actively producing gold by the end of this year. The results are already evident; the Ministry of Trade confirmed that the country’s mineral exports increased by 47% over the last year, while gold exports rose by a staggering 93%. According to Borg, another market to keep an eye on is hotel apartments. The Corinthia Hotel Khartoum is the city’s most luxurious and sits at the
"Sudan has enough agricultural land and fresh water resources to feed the Arab world." meeting point of the Blue and White Niles. Borg has observed a growing corporate clientele seeking ultra-luxury accommodation in the Sudanese capital, and over half of them have been GCC residents. “Around 55% of our total guests originate from the GCC region.” He points out that there not just visitors, “some of them have been residing at the hotel for more than two and a half years.” “They are all from very reputable, worldwide organisations. In Sudan you will find everything – corporate companies, government institutions, NGOs, which is a very big thing in Sudan. And there is political stability and facilitation of investment.” Borg adds: “When it comes to availability of competent labour, Sudan certainly ticks the box.”
Planned regeneration projects are estimated to cost $4 Billion over the next 15 years
2013 September / October GC 19
The Rise of Turkish Airlines
Voted ‘Best Airline in Europe,’ and ‘Best Business Class Catering’, Turkish Airlines is on a sharp upward trajectory. Vice President for Middle East and Cyprus, Murat Bas, shares some of the secrets to their success.
Did the recent troubles affect travel to Turkey as well as your transit business? Turkey continues to be a preferred vacation destination. While there have been some postponements, we have recorded continued growth during June. In fact, we have carried more passengers this year compared with the same period last year.
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You fly to 104 countries with 239 destinations. What factors make Turkish Airlines the go to carrier for transit travelers? We offer the best connection time for travellers from anywhere in the world, led by Turkey’s geographic location. Our extensive network and Turkey as a top choice leisure and business destination continues to power our growth.
You have many luxurious factors such as the lounge as well as the flying chef service. What else can we expect from the airline? We provide internet service on several Turkish Airlines ER flight (on Boeing 777) and we are planning to extend this service across all flights. In addition, we are expanding the lounge capacity to serve more passengers.
You have been voted best airline in Europe for the third year in a row. How do you maintain this status? We believe each passenger who chooses to fly with us is our guest and we are committed to making them happy and satisfied. To maintain the quality, we have made significant investments in recent years. The Istanbul Lounge, the flying chef service and addition of new destinations are only some of such value added features. Our goal is to be the first and leading 5-star airline in Europe and led by our hardworking and dedicated team, we are confident of achieving it.
"Our goal is to be the first and leading 5-star airline in Europe and led by our hardworking and dedicated team, we are confident of achieving it."
Are you competing with carriers such as Emirates and Qatar Airways for transit travelers? What is your competitive edge? While all national airlines are competitors, we see their role as complementary. We are strong on the Middle Eastâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Europe route, while some of the regional airlines have proven strengths in the Middle East â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Asia route and Middle East â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Australia segment. So we all, in fact, complement in serving the global traveller. Finally, the choice of an airline is decided by its service and connection times. We are motivated by the good work by the regional airlines; it pushes to better ourselves and exceed our passengers expectations.
Inside Turkish Airlines Business and First class lounges
2013 September / October GC 21
A Winning Spirit For Du Entrepreneur winner Loulou Khazen Baz, there’s always a mountain to climb By Tahira Yaqoob
oulou Khazen Baz was just 17 when she first showed her entrepreneurial streak. Fiercely ambitious and desperate to leave her tiny mountain village of Brummana in Lebanon she struck a deal with her conservative Christian parents to let her go abroad. “By the age of 17, I realised Brummana and Lebanon were not enough and I had to get out,” says Khazen Baz. “I fought really hard with my parents to leave. I am a village girl and we do not travel alone. “My parents did not have much money
22 GC September / October 2013
so I could not afford to go to the US or Europe where a term would cost $30,000. “So I found another option, a hotel management course where you studied for six months and then worked to pay for the rest of the course.” Khazen Baz, of course, did not stay in the hospitality industry, nor the finance, property or venture capital markets she dipped her toes in. She is instantly recognisable as the winner of The Entrepreneur TV series which showed on Dubai One last year, scooping the top prize of
Dh1 million with her fledgling online business Nabbesh.com matching skilled freelancers to specific tasks. From launching the website singlehandedly, Khazen Baz now has 15,000 members in 85 cities and a growing team in an office in Dubai Silicon Oasis with top financial and marketing advisors on hand and plans to expand to Saudi Arabia and Egypt. And as Nabbesh marks its second anniversary next month, it has been a time for reflection on the rocky road, which has finally led her to a job she is passionate about, a path she first started
on as a teenager. This year marks a decade since Khazen Baz moved to Dubai, a city which has both made and broken her career aspirations and seen her going “to hell and back”. Now 31 years old, she first left her village to study at the Blue Mountains International Hotel School near Sydney, where she won a scholarship covering half her tuition fees. “I went from one mountain to another. The first six months were really tough but it was the best decision of my life.” When she graduated with distinction three years later, she returned to Brummana to find work but after six months of frustrating jobseeking, she decided to move to Dubai. There was another reason for moving to the UAE in February 2003. While back in Brummana, she reunited with her former childhood sweetheart - now her husband - Murhaf Baz, 34, a fellow pupil from the acclaimed Brummana High School, whose alumni include the British comedian Dom Joly and Osama bin Laden. Her first job as a sales and marketing executive for the World Trade Centre Novotel and Ibis hotels in Dubai was grueling and the Dh3,500-a-month salary little reward for the long hours: “I stayed nine months. It was so depressing after all that studying to be working for peanuts.” She went on to work as a project coordinator for Daimler-Chrysler financial services before taking a role as a marketing manager at Dubai Properties in 2006. Two years later, the property world came crashing down around her ears when the bubble burst and 400 employees, including Khazen Baz, were made redundant in a day. “I was not that upset because I always knew I would find something else,” she says. After dabbling in freelance and consultancy work, she joined a newly-
launched venture capital firm called Active M offering entrepreneurs business advice and investment opportunities. “I loved the idea that we were going to help people create businesses,” she says. “It taught me how a business can work.” Inspired, she quit her job in August 2011 without an idea of what she was going to do, only the knowledge that she wanted to be her own boss: “I just knew I wanted to do something with a social impact that was positive for society. “I had experience in hospitality,
and eventually winning in May last year, she could not mention her success to potential clients until the show was screened in November. When her prize money finally came through last December, her credit cards were up to the limit and her husband, who is the regional head of retail for Apple, was paying their rent. With the prize money she has spent so far—she still has half the funds left— Khazen Baz now has a team of five working on the business, including her Syrian partner and software engineering
"I used to help oversee business plans covering everything from healthcare to education and technology. It taught me how a business can work." Khazen Baz founded Nabbesh.com and is Du’s entrepreneur of the year for 2013
marketing, property and finance and felt it was the right time.” It was while she was struggling to advertise her services for freelance consultancy work that she realised there was a gap in the market. Coupled with high unemployment figures in the Gulf, particularly among women and youth, she was determined to match skills to jobs. There were obstacles along the way in launching Nabbesh with her $50,000 savings; the first website design was flawed and even after beating 2,000 applicants to a place on The Entrepreneur
expert Rima Sheikh. The firm, which has previously been free to members, plans to start charging 10 per cent commission on completed jobs from both employers and freelancers to make it a viable business. Nabbesh attracted 150 people to a freelancers’ summit in May and has plans to expand regionally with an Arabic version of the site to follow. “I have been really desperate,” admits the young entrepreneur. “But when people look at us now, we are a winning company. I am still learning and there are exciting challenges ahead.”
2013 September / October GC 23
Image courtesy of Getty Images
"I made a living being myself" Iconic talk show queen and media mogul, Oprah Winfrey, 59, is considered by many the most powerful woman on the planet. With an estimated net worth of $2.7 billion she has been ranked the richest African-American of the 20th century, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and was for a time, the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only black billionaire.
Words courtesy of Sian Edwards/The Interview People
By sian Edwards
orn into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in an inner city neighbourhood, Winfrey experienced considerable hardship during her childhood. She landed a job in radio while still in high school and began co-anchoring the news at age 19. Then she entered the talk show world – and the rest is history. Today the media mogul lives in Chicago with her partner, Stedman Graham, whom she has been with since
1986. They have been engaged since 1992 but haven’t made it official yet. Now she returns to the big screen in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, a true story of an African American butler, Cecil Gaines (portrayed by Forest Whitaker), who worked at the White House for three decades under eight different presidents. Winfrey’s performance as his proud opinionated wife, Gloria, has garnered Oscar buzz. Winfrey shares her thoughts about the film, civil rights and personal identity.
"I am the daughter of a maid, and my grandmother was a maid, and her mother was a maid, and her mother was a slave."
Oprah speaks during the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March On Washington this summer 26 GC September / October 2013
How did you get involved with this project? Lee Daniels. And I was telling him, ‘I got a network thing going on,’ and he wouldn’t listen to me but I am glad I said yes, I finally said yes because of the story itself. He had been talking to me about the story and Gloria, who I play, for quite some time. I am a student of my own history, of African American history, and I believe that when you know who you are, you have the ability to move forward, not just with the strength of yourself but the strength of your entire ancestry. So the ability to tell that story of The Butler in an entertaining way that would offer an opportunity for the rest of the world to experience a part of history that made our nation who and what we are, and to demonstrate the love story of an African-American family and in a way that tenderness is exposed to the world, so that people can see that we are all more alike than different. When you see the two of us at the bus station, sending our son off to college, it’s how every parent, regardless of race, regardless of economic background feels when you have to let go of your son. When you see us sitting at the breakfast table in the morning, I wanted to communicate that sense of love and connection and tenderness and also to allow the spirit and integrity of all of the African-American women, colored, Negro at the time, who stood by the men and held the families together with their grit and their determination, and allowed their own dreams to be repressed. I thought a lot about what it means to be a woman in the 50s and 60s, a woman like Gloria or a woman like myself or any other woman, all of us have a little fire inside and Gloria had a fire inside of herself, and what it’s like to be the kind of woman who has that fire, but what do you do with it? You can’t just watch Edge of Night all day long, (laughs) and make a tuna fish sandwich and drink a beer and that’s why you tiptoe with the next door neighbour, Terrence, a little bit.
Image courtesy of Getty Images
"I don’t have one face that I present to the white world or the black world. I talk to my dogs the way I am speaking right now." face that I present to the white world or the black world. I talk to my dogs the way I am speaking right now, (laughs) so it’s always been the same for me, and I say that with great pride and homage and honour to the people who were the generation before me. Oprah stars opposite Forest Whitaker in Lee Daniels’ The Butler
But when he looks like that too, it doesn’t hurt? He didn’t quite look like that. (laughs) Terrence was such a brilliant actor that he came to set the first day and he had removed the cap from his tooth, so he has this big gaping hole. (laughs) But the opportunity to show who the women were of that era, because Gloria is not just herself, but a composite of women of that era, who sacrificed, who also were the stabilizing force in the family, because the butler couldn’t have been who he was and still had a family had it not been for her. So I loved all of that about the script.
reporter in Nashville, Tennessee. He said to me then: ‘one of your gifts is being able to be yourself on TV.’ So when I moved to Chicago and I was up against the then quote King of Talk, my boss at the time, called me in the office and said, ‘Listen, we know you will never be able to beat him, so just go on the air and be yourself.’ So I have made a career out of my own authenticity, I don’t have one
There was a line in the film that struck me, ‘We have got two faces; one we show the white people.’ It’s one of the lines that I feel is parallel to today. Is that your experience as someone who has strived and achieved success in a white dominated business, and how do you we get past that point? I don’t feel that. I feel I made a living being myself. When I was 19 years old, I interviewed Jesse Jackson as a young Oprah and long term partner Stedman
With so many things on your plate between the Oprah Winfrey Network; O, the Oprah Magazine; Oprah Radio on XM; Oprah.com, why the return to the big screen as well? One of the reasons why I wanted to be in this movie is because I am the daughter of a maid, and my grandmother was a maid, and her mother was a maid, and her mother was a slave. So the domestic worker and the speech that Dr. King gives to my son in the movie, I feel validated by their courage, l feel validated by the war that the butler and his entire generation fought in their own way, and the fact that there’s another generation of freedom fighters and who because of evolution and growth and change, decided that we are not going to do that anymore. I think that was also necessary. So both wars were necessary for the time. But there’s a wonderful poem by Paul Lawrence Dunbar called We Wear the Mask that I learned as a little girl, but because of the courage, because of the conviction of an entire generation of whose shoulders we all stand on. I never had to do it. Lee Daniels’ The Butler opens in theatres in the UAE on Oct 10th.
2013 September / October GC 27
Oprah's Drive to Empower Oprah Winfrey has used her enormous wealth and status to transform lives around the world. prah Winfrey has developed an unparalleled connection with people around the world—enter t ainin g, enlightening and uplifting millions of viewers. However her legacy will not only be her pioneering accomplishments as a global media leader. Her work as a philanthropist and humanitarian makes her one of the most respected and admired public figures today. Her approach to philanthropy is based on empowerment—empowerment through education. Something she refers to as the door to freedom. “I realized that the only way to
create long-term improvement and empowerment, and literally change the trajectory of somebody’s life, is through education,” Oprah told an audience during the Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy last year. She has donated an estimated $400 million to educational causes. $40 million of that went towards the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, a school in South Africa, which was born out of a conversation she had while staying at the home of Nelson Mandela in 2000. However, like other parts of Oprah’s life, her philanthropic efforts haven’t been without their difficulties.
She was devastated when she learned that one of the pupils in the school in South Africa had been a victim of sexual abuse, something that Oprah has first hand experience, having been subjected to abuse as a teenager herself. In the U.S. she initiated the National Child Protection Act in 1991, testifying before the U.S. Senate to establish a national database of convicted child abusers. On December 20, 1993, President Clinton signed the national “Oprah Bill” into law. In South Africa she tackled the issues head on. Saying she has learned great lessons from her mistakes and remains steadfast in her commitment to her
charity work. Oprah’s Angel Network has raised more than $80 million, with 100 percent of the donations funding charitable projects around the US and 13 countries globally. In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, Oprah donated $10 million of her own money to rebuild family homes and she launched the Homes Registry so viewers could help fill homes of those in need with furniture, picture frames and other items that were lost in Katrina’s wake. The Angel Network distributed its final grants, six $1 million donations to US charter schools, in September 2010 when the show aired its final season. Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls - Class of 2011 Inaugural Graduation
28 GC September / October 2013
Image courtesy of Gettyimages
In 1993, President Clinton signed the national "Oprah Bill" into law.
Philanthropist of theYear OR ACCOMPLISHED CON ARTIST? We help you decide.
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Tribesports Founders, (C) Jenna Anians, (L-R) Steve Reid, David Hickson, Andrew McDonough
Tearing up the rule book Jenna Anians, co-founder of Tribesports, believes the company’s social media business model will cut the cost of sportswear and challenge the $250 billion industry. By Natasha Tourish
ribesports, a London based social networking site for sports enthusiasts, hit the headlines last month when it raised £30,000 ($46,521) pounds in just 40 hours after launching a crowd-funding drive to finance their online sportswear line. The founders of the online site, which had 200,000 plus members before they launched on the crowdsourcing platform Kickstarter, say they will pass on a discount to every customer who donates to their online fund once their sports line launches in November. GC speaks to the co-founder Jenna Anians. Where did the inspiration to develop this new online model come from? Back in 2010, we saw a gap in the sports market for a social platform that would give people a place to interact around their sports and share their activity and interests with other people
30 GC September / October 2013
from around the globe. We fundamentally believe that there are inefficiencies in the traditional way that sportswear is created, marketed and distributed and we think we have the community, team and brand to do something about it. How does your retail model differ from others? The traditional sportswear retail model is laden with inefficiencies that add on unnecessary layers of cost, which are ultimately passed on to the consumer. We saw a better way to do things; by using real sports people and Internet technologies, we are revolutionizing what we feel is an out dated retail model. You already raised $3 million in investment so was the funding appeal on kickstarter just a marketing tool to fit in with the ‘community powered model’? Using the crowd-funding platform, Kickstarter was a no-brainer
"Our competitors are lumbered with an old retail model. They spend too much on wholesalers, retailers and branding/ sponsorship deals." products to be moved into production. This is just the beginning and will set the benchmark moving forward. Every decision made to do with our sportswear range will originate from our customers.
The first sportswear line will have 4-way stretch fabric and antibacterial treatments.
for us. What better way to gain validation for our model than involving early-adopter passionate sports people from around the globe at the very beginning to make our vision, the world’s first community-powered sports brand into a reality. How will your business model evolve after your public fundraising campaign ends on Kickstarter? When we hit the £55,000 mark we were able to introduce 4 new product lines to the pledge packages. We have a number of new styles at different stages in the pre-production process. The new lines added were chosen in response to the feedback from backers and potential backers of what they would like to see added to the range.
What will the sportswear line consist of? Our launch range focuses on performance and versatility. We’re working with one of the world’s leading sportswear manufacturers, based in Taiwan that are accredited for their fair pay and conditions and are audited regularly. They are also a Blue Sign partners for sustainable fabric production. We really explain the whole production process to our customers, —taking videos and photos in the factory to share the product journey from start to finish. Tribesports will launch their new sportswear line via their website www.tribesports.com in November.
Is your model really that different from existing sportswear powerhouses? Our competitors are lumbered with an old retail model. They spend too much on wholesalers, retailers and branding/ sponsorship deals. All of this spend is ultimately borne by the customer in the retail price for their product. Without all of this unnecessary expenditure, we are able to offer our sportswear to the consumers at up to 40%, while also remaining viable as a business. The big guys have respected brands, big budgets and much influence. But…were created in a world, and at a time, when the flow of information was controlled top-down: Tribesports has innovation in its DNA. You plan to be a ‘community powered sports brand’ with customer input on product development. Logistically how will this work? This can already be seen in our Kickstarter campaign, where backers have been given the opportunity to choose the next colours for our technical tees and then vote on the next two
Tribesports say their unique business model can offer sportswear at 40% cheaper 2013 September / October GC 31
Organic CafĂŠ founder Nils El Accad
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"my mother... planted the seeds of healthier living, raw and organic food in me."
The Business of Organics Nils El Accad has proven that being green can go beyond corporate responsibility and offer a viable, alternative business model in Dubai. By Sandra Tinari
ubai Entrepreneur Nils El Accad is attempting to change the UAE food industry by sourcing farmers directly to import organic produce because the technology isn’t up to speed yet to source locally. German born Nils El Accad is the founder of the Organic Foods and Café, the expanding supermarket chain that began as a standalone store in 2004 in Dubai. Almost ten years later he has eight stores across the Middle East and plans to double in size. “It’s my little revolution against the conventional food industry,” El Accad says of his business and strategy to operate stores in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The businessman is steadfast in his admonishment of an industry that he says puts profit before the health of consumers and the planet. “More and more food these days is produced by publicly listed companies and their number one goal is providing profit for share holders. It’s all about making money. But that fundamentally goes against nutrition. My famous saying is that it’s not about the money.” But with such ambitious growth plans, is the Organic Foods and Café chain making money? After all, being in business is about minimising costs and maximising profit. “Sure, I’m paying my bills. Can I make more money doing something else? Definitely. But, I would rather leave a positive rather than leave a bag of bones.” El Accad’s business hadn’t always been green. His father established a thriving food and drinks production and distribution firm in Dubai in the 1970s. Now operating as El Accad Trading, it is managed by Nils and his brother, Jens. After battling personal illness, and the death of his mother from cancer when he was 21 years-old, Nils was convinced that he
needed to transform the family firm’s focus to the production and distribution of organic and biodynamic food and drink. “It was my mother who had exposed me to the wrongs of the food industry when I was younger and had planted the seeds of healthier living, raw and organic food in me. She had studied in the last years of her life,” he says. “Then in the late 1990’s I fell ill and after several years of struggling, a homeopath cured what every other doctor could
The Organic Foods and Café supermarket chain will expand into KSA and Qatar.
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Organic produce sourced from farmers abroad is served daily in the Café
not even find. I was poisoned by the very food I ate. This was a big enlightenment. I went back home to try to change the industry and try to get organic food to the UAE but discovered that food retail was also not about nutrition but money.” He launched the organic supermarket chain and sold the family’s food business. He also changed their drinks production business, in its place developing and launching Sun Blast, an organic juice without added sugar that has a recycled outer carton designed by his sister. The UAE produced lunchbox juice is now sold worldwide. Nils originally tried to distribute organic and biodynamic products to supermarkets in the region but when faced with a lack of interest he decided to establish his own supermarket. He spent three years researching the organic industry and
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meeting directly with farmers worldwide to source all the information and suppliers he needed. “I travelled the world and the majority of the farmers that I met, from Europe to South America to Australia, told me that they were organic and biodynamic because they all knew someone who had died of cancer, which they believed was due to the use of agrochemicals,” he says. He now deals only directly with these farmers and suppliers, visiting their farms to ensure their organic and biodynamic credentials and quality. He says dealing directly with the producers also helps deliver end prices that are affordable for the nutrition provided, compared to the more commercial organics on the market. Savings are passed on to his customers. However, importing produce from abroad does come with its own set of carbon footprint challenges for a business focused on sustainability and being green. “It is a difficult issue,” Nils says of managing a firm’s carbon footprint. “If I import say, my cucumbers from even as far afield as Southern Europe, my carbon footprint might be less than if I grew them locally using more resources. We have to look at total inputs.” With farmers he is actively trying to find ways to use solar desalination, which draws on only the energy of the sun to purify water as opposed to flash desalination. This would produce a lower carbon footprint than present desalination processes. He says: “The technology is not quite there yet. People look at the immediate cost but they should be thinking about the total cost...what impact we are having on the environment, on future generations. What price can you put on your child’s life? “We all need to do more and the best way is for each of us to vote everyday. Voting with every Dirham you spend can help determine where resources go and the legacy we all leave behind.”
Getting in the Game Two Lebanese brothers are paving the way for the gaming industry in the Middle East By Mona Alami
ebnan and Arz Nader are stirring up the Lebanese game scene. Their company, Game Cooks has launched several IOS and Android games, catering specifically to Middle East gamers taste. The two brothers with a background in marketing and graphic design developed their first game Birdy Nam Nam which featured Arab cities such as Dubai, Beirut and Cairo, set ablaze by the development of a new drug for chickens by a group of Arab scientists, which turned terribly wrong, transforming chickens into bloodthirsty mutants. “The game has 1.3 million downloads to date and topped the charts in all Arabic countries within its first week,” says Lebnan Nader. As the game gained momentum, the two brothers were courted by several incubators and venture capitalist. They combined efforts with RGH, creating Game Cooks—a company dedicated to developing games for smart phones. The Game Cooks founders saw initially a niche market for products designed specifically for the Arab world. Most games currently available are translated into Arabic and are not developed with a Middle Eastern audience in mind. Birdy Nam Nam as well as Run for Peace, two applications for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch operating system (iOS) were designed with a distinct Arab touch.
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“We decided to keep developing mobile games with music, design settings and language that are easily recognizable and appealing to the Arab gamer,” says Nader. Run for Peace features Salim, who like many other Arabs dreams about regional peace. He decides to venture on a “Peace spreading journey” across the Middle East where he faces a number of dangers and has to overcome many obstacles. “It took us about six months to develop this game,” says Nader. The company which started off with a staff of two members now employs 10 people and is looking to recruit two more as well as expand into other Middle Eastern countries. Game Cooks has preferred launching its games in the ‘freemium’ model, which refers to the practice of offering a product or service free of charge while charging a premium for advanced features. The company income is generated from the special features such as weapons or tools that allow players to move from one level to the other with more ease. Each costs 99 cents. After positioning Game Cooks as the regional game developer, the Nader brothers moved to developing educational games with Dèjà Vu and Nerd. “For Déjà Vu, we developed everything in-house from the actual music to the design itself,” explains Nader. This game aims at challenging and improving the player’s memory with its many puzzles features a relaxing Zen music in the
backdrop of a dark and intriguing design. Game Cooks then released Nerd, comprised of mind-boggling quizzes. “Nerd was very challenging because of the multiple level and multiple game design, which we developed in less than three months,” underlines Nader. Nader believes some obstacles hinder the development of the gaming culture in the Middle East. One main obstacle lies in the fact that only a lucky few have smart phones in some countries such as Egypt, which boasts the largest Arab population, estimated at over 90 million. “Another problem is that even in other countries where people have smart phones or iPads, only a few have access to credit cards that are linked to their smartphones, which prevents players from purchasing games. A third obstacle is in the quality of communication, as 3G or 4G were introduced to certain countries only a short time ago. The quality of the 3 and 4G is sometimes so bad that players cannot download large files,” he explained.
"We noticed that most of our downloads came from Brazil and Europe, which pushed us to develop Captain Oil, a game that meets international standards in every respect" Game Cooks first game Birdy Nam Nam received 1.3 million downloads in its first week and topped the charts in Arabic countries.
With that in mind, Game Cooks has now shifted away from catering to just the Arab niche to designing games appealing to a wider international audience. “We noticed that most of our downloads came from Brazil and Europe, which pushed us to develop Captain Oil, a game that meets international standards in every respect. We have had 70,000 downloads in two weeks, without even marketing the game through the usual channels,” points out Nader. Nader adds that the potential for online gaming in the region is enormous as witnessed in the success of games such as Angry Birds which have been downloaded over 1 billion times across the globe. The paradigm shift with games moving away from consoles to phones is only fueling the trend. “Arab countries are home to a tremendous amount of talent and the region could serve as a gaming platform, more especially in countries such as Lebanon and Jordan which have the most potential for game development thanks to the creativity and specialization of some designers,” says the young developer.
Each game is designed in-house by a small team of local designers from the music to the design itself.
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Overhead View Of the Bay of Antigua
The Caribbean Opens up to Gulf Investors The paradox of the world becoming at once more globalized and more mobile, yet at the same time more restricted, means that holding just one passport puts you at the mercy of just one government,” according to Wealth Report. This resonates more than ever with Gulf investors, at a time when the region is clinging on to a backdrop of uncertainty over Syria. “Second citizenships and residency
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are becoming increasingly sought after among wealthy foreign investors as a means of improving their travel freedom and their families long term security,” said Armand Arton, President and CEO of Arton Capital, a global advisory firm which is hosting Dubai’s first ever Global Citizenship forum in September. The event to be held in the Armani Hotel will gather government ministers from various Caribbean nations, immigration and finance experts alongside investors from around the world to discuss the
growing trend in Global Citizenship amongst high net worth individuals. Although Gulf investors have traditionally looked to countries like the UK and Canada, which offer established Immigrant Investor Programs, Arton says that strict quotas and residency requirements have pushed investors towards newer programs in the Caribbean which still offer the ability to travel freely to 140 countries without any visa restrictions. Four Caribbean countries currently
Image courtesy of Gettyimages
Caribbean Island countries are offering second citizenships to attract investors
allow citizenship by investment; Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, the Commonwealth of Dominica (not be confused with Dominican Republic) and Grenada just opened its doors. St. Kitts and Nevis is the longest running and most established of all the programs so it comes as no surprise that it acts as a blueprint to its Caribbean neighbours who have more recently started to offer second citizenships and residency programs in return for substantial investments in their economies. The only nationalities who ‘need not apply’ are Iranians, due to recent international pressure, which prompted the Kittitian government to completely ban Iranians regardless of their residence.
counterparts in St. Kitts and Dominica. Although the final version of the Act has not yet been publicly published it is anticipated the government will allow applicants who purchase an approved property for $500,000 or make a nonrefundable monetary donation of $400,000. Prime Minister, Keith Mitchell said the move would “provide tremendous job opportunities for Grenadians who, for years, have not been able to get a chance to earn their bread.” Antigua and Barbuda The third Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, have also just opened up their economic citizenship
St Georges Grenada
Grenada reopens Grenada recently re-opened their passport-for-investment scheme, which had ceased since 9/11. The Grenada Citizenship by Investment Act 2013 offers citizenship in exchange for a certain level of investment in the country. However the Grenadian law also has put in place a strict residency requirement for investors to obtain those passports, unlike their
program after months of negotiation. The country’s parliament finally passed their controversial Citizenship-by-Investment Program Bill in March this year. Similar to St. Kitts and Nevis, a $250,000 contribution to the country’s National Development Fund or a $400,000 real estate investment in approved developments is required. A third option is a $1.5 million “business investment”
Antigua & Barbuda Finance Minister Harold Lovell
"New citizens will enjoy visa free access to more then 120 countries, which include the United Kingdom, France and CanadA." that allows an applicant to put money in a government-approved business. An additional $50,000 application fee and a $7,500 “due diligence fee” exist on top of the investment amount. Participants in this program will enjoy visa-free access to more then 120 countries, which include the United Kingdom, France and Canada but there’s also a strict residency requirement, they will have to spend at least 35 days per year on the Island for every 5 years. Antigua and Barbuda says it will also take due diligence seriously. Investors “must have an impeccable record,” said Fitzmaurice Christian, the chairman of the new program. Christian expects his country will be naturalising around 450 new Antiguans per year by 2016. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Administration Honorable Harold Lovell will be one of the guest speakers at the Global Citizen Forum in Dubai, part of an effort to explain the benefits of the Antigua and Barbuda program to Gulf investors.
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It’s all about access
Access a world of visa-free travel and global mobility. Whether you are seeking permanent residency, citizenship or global mobility, it all starts with our unparalleled range of innovative, bespoke investor programs and services. Learn how becoming a Global Citizen can help you create the opportunities you need to make the world a better place for yourself, your family, and for all of us. Discover the power of Global Citizenship now.
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Arton Capital is a leading global financial advisory firm providing custom tailored services for immigrant investor programs to government agencies and high networth individuals and families from around the world. The firm is supervised by the Quebec Financial Markets’ regulator, l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) and is recognized by the Quebec Ministry of Finance as an International Financial Center (IFC).
Making the World Smaller Sabine Heller keeps the rich and sometimes famous interconnected through her invite only social networking site By Natasha Tourish
ike most young CEO’s, Sabine Heller, 36, has a global perspective on life. She was born in New York and grew up shuttling between – New York, New Delhi and Mumbai. Ironically, Heller is the President and CEO of A Small World, an invite only social networking site that she describes as ‘Facebook for the few.’ An invitation to A Small World (ASW) was once highly coveted, but the site’s social value has diminished in the Twitter age. Heller, once named by Brandweek as ‘Guerrilla Marketer of the year’ is hard at work on the relaunch of the company. In May, ASW held a glamorous relaunch party in Marrakech with Olivia Wilde and Glee star Diana Agron attending along with a host of European socialites and fashion designers. Heller, a former VP of Marketing and Advertising at Maurice Villency/Roche
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Bobois USA, where she re-branded the 80-year-old luxury company in the late 90’s, lives in New York with a second home in Catskills. Heller partly attributes her success as a female entrepreneur to growing up in a ‘matriarchy’ in India. “I was raised around adults and often taken to meetings and dinners, despite my young age,” she reminisces. “My mother’s family were industrialists and have been involved in the development of India as a country for generations. My grandmother was one of the leaders of the Hindu Nationalist Movement with Nehru and started several important foundations and Hospitals in Mumbai (where our family has been for generations),” Heller explained. As a result of her grandmother’s contribution to the country, she was asked to be in the high house of Indian Parliament and when it was in session, Heller’s family would live in New Delhi.
Her approach to business as a result of her upbringing is similar to that in life, “I tend to be flexible, nimble, and see situations from multiple vantage points,” says Heller. Heller’s relaunch strategy for the 850,000 member strong ASW is to shift their business model from ad-based revenue to subscription based. “Our aim is to be much smaller,” said Heller, a former strategy consultant who has run A Small World since 2010. “I realized that ASW needed to alter its business model several years ago.” Heller explained the ad business “drained their resources,” so she initiated the change in strategy. The redesigned site will focus more on travel, offering city guides, hotel discounts and access to exclusive nightclubs and events, which Heller said, will help them to “stay relevant.” Heller has also developed an algorithm that determines which members they will
invite back into the new community. “If a member has a lot of inbound attention (so lots of members are contacting one person for travel tips, for example), it means they have some perceived value within the community. On the other hand, if you have a man that has a lot of outbound activity, only to women, then you can tell a little bit about his behaviour
Heller with Ben Pundole (R) and Waris Ahluwalia (L) designer of the ASW membership card at the relaunch party in Marrakesh
as well,” she explained. Heller hopes to have 15% of their audience from the Middle East, with 5,000-10,000 members from Dubai alone. The fortunate few that are invited back will have to pay for their privileges, which include a complimentary one week stay with a guest at Kittitian Hill in the Caribbean, complimentary airport pick ups and office work spaces in New York and Berlin and complimentary membership to The World’s Finest Clubs. They will also be more real people
to people interaction with monthly events in 50 cities and 12 group trips this year, up from last year’s five. Beyond the luxury lifestyle and opulent travel that is inherent in ASW, the new launch of the online social network will see a creation of the ASW Foundation designed to leverage their global network of wealthy members to benefit the 3
selected charities that they have partnered with; Charity: water, Plan International USA (specifically their Because I Am A Girl campaign) and New Light. “Through these incredible organizations, the ASW Foundation ensures that together we can change lives and make our small world a better one too.”
The redesigned site will focus more on travel, offering city guides, hotel discounts and access to exclusive nightclubs and events.
Heller takes time out to shop in the local souqs in Marrakesh
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Making Dolls with a Difference Brand consultant turned social entrepreneur Sahar Wahbeh is bringing back meaning to toys, one handmade doll at a time. By Nausheen Noor
Sahar and her daughter, Neeva
hile spending the holidays with family in Virginia, Sahar Wahbeh, a PalestianAmerican based in Dubai, wanted to give her daughter Neeva a unique gift that would be iconic of her childhood. “Everyone has that teddy bear, doll or thing that reminds them of their childhood. I looked and I couldn’t find anything that really captured my heart and her spirit. So, I decided to make one myself.” She bought some fabric, pulled out her mother’s 1960’s Singer sewing machine, propped it on an old ping pong table in the basement, and started work. What emerged was a dainty and sophisticated rag doll with almond shaped eyes and a rosebud mouth—the very first Dumyé doll. Two years later, in June of this year, Sahar launched Dumye. com, an online shop that sells these “dolls with a purpose.” For every doll purchased, Dumyé gifts a doll kit to an orphan in need, enabling them to make it their own through an art workshop. She has donated to schools in Africa and will soon kick off in the Middle East for children affected by the conflicts in Syria, Egypt and Palestine. “Really, that’s what I’m waiting for. I’m excited to meet these little children and bring them a little sunshine,” says Sahar. “Not just in the doll but more so in the creation of the
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doll. It’s an exercise in creative expression, the ability to control a piece of their world,” she explains. Sahar’s journey to social entrepreneurship is unique. She was working in New York as a graphic designer with high-profile clients such as Estee Lauder and Johnson & Johnson when she met her husband, Firas, who was in the city on a business trip. A whirlwind romance followed and a year later she moved to Dubai. She continued to work in Dubai as a brand consultant after her daughter Neeva was born in 2010. She spent her free time
crafting dolls for friends and family, quickly realized that her heart was more in doll making than brand consulting. The decision to leave her day job was difficult, but the unique opportunity to not only share her values with her daughter but also live them proved persuasive. “This calling had been sitting in my headspace for some time and I think becoming a mother gave me the courage to explore it. If I didn’t have the courage to fulfill my potential, how could I ask her to? If I wasn’t willing to try and make a positive difference in this crazy world, how could I ask her to? If I wasn’t willing to put my values above profit, how could I ask her to?” Sahar now spends her days hand making each doll for Dumyé (which means ‘doll’ in Arabic). Every detail, from
are stuffed with a sustainable corn fiber, which is also washable. The felt for the hair is fashioned out of 100% post-consumer plastic. The clothes are made from various cottons. Sahar calls this design ethos “karmic goodness,” a set of values that filters down to their everyday lives. “One of the things that really excited me about becoming a designer was that I felt like it gave me the power to shape our culture for the better,” explains Sahar. Another unique element of the doll is the “purpose pocket,” a handwritten customized note from the buyer for the receiver which is tucked into the doll. Writing these for each doll allows Sahar to be privy to some very precious moments in people’s lives. One note, written to an adult friend battling cancer, moved Sahar to tears. The buyer said the doll reminded her of
"I am so humbled. I love the stories of where these dolls are going, what they’re doing to people, what they mean."
The Dumyé dolls that will be shipped to orphanages where the children can design them in art workshops.
the intricate hairdos to the bows on the feet is indicative of their extraordinary craftsmanship. The dolls are customizable—one can choose the hairstyle, complexion, eye color and outfit from a rather fashionable wardrobe that changes each season. They are created from carefully sourced ethically produced materials. The body is composed of 100% organic muslin. Sahar hand dyes the cloth using organic plant dyes to achieve the different complexions, a process that takes 5 days. They
her friend’s grace. “I am so humbled. I love the stories of where these dolls are going, what they’re doing to people, what they mean.” So far orders have come from as far-flung places as Los Angeles and Sydney. Dumyé will be exhibiting at the Fashion Forward pop-up shop from October 15-18. The new collection of dolls will be revealed along with some winter accessories.
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A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN GC talks to British entrepreneur Tom Chapman about how he turned a tiny London fashion boutique into a leading global luxury retailer that marries both online and bricks and mortars boutiques. By Tahira Yaqoob
t started with an impulse buy of a dozen cashmere sweaters. When Ruth Chapman returned from Milan and confessed she had blown the budget on Brunello Cucinelli jumpers costing nearly $800 each, her husband Tom Chapman says: “We all had a bit of a heart attack.” But the moment they went on sale in the couple’s tiny new boutique in southwest London, they were snapped up—and that impulse purchase shaped the course of the Chapmans’ fledgling fashion business. As the founders of Matches,
recently renamed Matchesfashion.com, the couple now head a global fashion empire specialising in designer brands with an annual turnover of more than $78 million. With a staff of more than 400, a wholly owned in-house brand Freda, 14 stores and booming online sales, they ship 1,000-plus orders a week while their website attracts more than seven million visitors, with the Middle East ranking as the firm’s third most significant region for online sales alongside the US and Australia.
But while their website now accounts for 70 per cent of overall sales, far overshadowing the trade done in store, the couple put their success down to marrying the two strands of the business. Their No.23 outlet, an elegant Georgian townhouse in the British capital, opened two years ago to offer more of a VIP concierge style service. It has been a particular hit among shoppers from the Gulf, who can browse discreetly with a personal stylist on hand. Many then go on to order online after creating their own customer wish lists and have
"This is a trial of where we are going with bricks and mortar in the future and how we can talk to customers through a single channel."
Clients can browse through Matchesfashion’s collections using iPads from the privacy of their No.23 outlet
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to connect with customers. It was never based around sales,” says Chapman. Thanks to the convenience of having goods delivered across the globe, online sales quickly eclipsed those of the stores. The Gulf now accounts for nearly nine per cent of online sales with a higher than average order value. In the UAE alone, sales have rocketed by more than 260 per cent in the past year while Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are all big spenders. In March this year, the firm held a popup store in Dubai attended by designer Peter Pilotto. A similar event in Doha in 2011 hosted by two sheikhas from the ruling Al Thani family saw sales in Qatar soar by more than 300 per cent. In a nod to the growing significance Ruth and Tom Chapman with Scottish fashion designer Christopher Kane
their goods shipped to the Middle East. A new boutique set to open next year in the genteel London suburb of Wimbledon, replacing three stores in the neighbourhood, takes on a new format. Shoppers browsing a carefully curated selection of key designer pieces from that season will be able to see the full range of stock in each brand with iPads and effectively shop online, only in store. “This is a trial of where we are going with bricks and mortar in the future and how we can talk to customers through a single channel,” says Chapman. It is a far cry from the origins of the business back in 1990 when the couple, who had no experience in the fashion industry, decided to open their own boutique in leafy Wimbledon. Chapman was then working in reservations in Browns Hotel in London and itching to manage his own business. He persuaded his then-girlfriend Ruth, who was working in the entertainment industry at the time, to join him. The plan, he says, was for an upmarket Benetton with rows of cashmere
In the UAE alone, sales have rocketed by more than 260 per cent in the past year
sweaters in different colours. “They sold immediately. And very quickly, we changed direction and began to focus on luxury brands.” But neither predicted the success of their online offering. Matchesfashion.com was launched in 2006 as a “marketing tool
of its online presence, the Chapmans changed the name above their shopfronts to Matchesfashion.com earlier this year. What it means, says Chapman, is more customer choice: “They can engage with us on multiple platforms, from bricks and mortar to No.23 to online.”
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Fit for a King Cire Trudon, once the official candle supplier to Louis XIV, Marie Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte, is still in business after 370 years. GC finds out the secret to their longevity. By Natasha Tourish
laude Trudon manufactured his first candle in Paris in 1643 and quickly caught the attention of the French Monarchy, becoming the official candle supplier to the Court of Louis XIV. Today the company he founded, Cire Trudon, one of the oldest candle manufacturers in the world is still thriving with annual revenue of 5.5 million euros, still serves discerning clientele with their home fragrances. Julien Pruvost, the young Frenchman who oversees Cire Trudon’s operations from their headquarters in Paris spoke to Global Citizen while visiting Dubai in a bid to expand the iconic European brand to new markets. He explained
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that the brand prefers to have selective distribution, but they intend to work with the Al Tayer Group this year through Bloomingdales and Harvey Nichols to start distributing their products in Dubai. Luxury retailers such as MrPorter.com and Barneys sell their candles, which range in price from $85 to $500. The candle maker with a cult following has proven they have staying power. That is thanks to the strength of their base product. Their wax, made from rice, soy and copra (coconut kernel) burns cleanly without drip, lasts long, and is biodegradable. All of their candles and fragrances are crafted by expert artisans in a factory in Normandy and packaged in hand-blown glass jars with Cire Trudon’s
centuries old emblem on the front. The company has, of course, expanded beyond candles, also producing a line of room sprays and incense. But they remain rooted in a sense of heritage. Even the scents have brevity. Several different themes run through Cire Trudon’s product line, from religious to royal to revolutionary. Carmélite is inspired by nuns moving through mossy stone corridors; Roi Soleil is evocative of the Chateau de Versaille’s wooden floors; and Odeur de Lune was created from the actual scientific data of moon dust. And despite the history, the brand has evolved with a unique wit, not taking themselves all too seriously. Among their most popular products are handmade
wax candle busts—the Napoléon is a favourite among the range of masculine scented candles which have heady notes of leather, tobacco, and clove. Still Family Owned In over 300 years, the company has changed hands only six times and always
by something else for the company to survive,” he said. “It was an industrial project when they bought it, today it’s transformed into a high value business more towards a bespoke business with low volume production. He added, “It’s still candles, which is fantastic.”
“It’s a natural evolution and an adaption to a modern day usage of candles and we have pushed that way beyond a certain limit to a purpose that is not just scented candles but to a home decorative object.” When asked if they would develop certain scents for specific markets, Pruvost said that he believed there was
“It was an industrial project when they bought it, today it’s transformed into a high value business more towards a bespoke business with low volume production.”
Executive Director Julien Pruvost
already enough in the line to appeal to Middle Easterners. There are 25 scents in the candle product line to choose from with Ernesto being the most masculine scent, “It should take you to revolutionary Havana” he said, with overtones of leather and tobacco. Another favourite in the line is L’Admirable, fresh cologne with ruffled citrus fruits and bitter orange. However, Provost believes that the Abd El Kader scent may appeal to the local market most. With 370 years of candle making know-how behind them, they certainly have a formula that works, even when entering new markets.
to family owners within the Paris vicinity. The current owners, the Blondeau family, took charge in 1989 and came from an industrial background. Pruvost credits the Blondeau’s for initiating the company’s “restructuring plans” before his arrival. “They had gone through the church candle business, and when I arrived plans to sell part of that business were in the pipe line simply because it was disappearing and it needed to be replaced Cire Trudon’s candles are handmade at their factory in Normandy
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Meet Chef Izu Ani
The chef who has transformed the UAE’s culinary landscape talks to GC about his new concept, La Serre.
t’s not an overstatement to say that Chef Izu Ani is changing the way people eat in the UAE. It began in 2010 when he arrived in Dubai as the Executive Chef opening the celebrated Le Petite Maison, bringing a different level of Mediterranean style cooking to the region. Now the talented Nigerian born chef from London has moved on to launch his own concept, La Serre, a two-floor boulangerie and bistro which opened last month in the Vida Hotel, Downtown Dubai. Ani, who has partnered with Emaar hospitality, spent a year creating what he calls his ‘dream restaurant,’ combining his favourite aspects of dining and culture from France and the Mediterranean. La Serre means glasshouse in French, it’s a direct reference to the restaurants large glass facade, which draws in the crowds on Downtown’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard. The name perfectly captures the chef’s philosophy. Ani wanted to create an unpretentious place for the community to walk in daily for their morning coffee and fresh bread—something he saw a gap for in Dubai. All pastries are made from scratch daily at 3:30am. The glass walls “bring the street life in,” he explains. That philosophy of sharing is carried through to the formal dining room upstairs—from the open kitchen to the Chef’s Table. A seat at the highly coveted tasting table gives guests the opportunity to be served by the chefs (including Ani) and get a direct peek into the frenetic adrenaline fueled pace of the kitchen. “Restaurants are like theater,” says Ani. “You have to keep people entertained.” And he certainly will do that. That setting seems to be the perfect place for TV—and Ani has all the elements of a celebrity chef. When asked, Ani shrugs off the suggestion with a smile. “I’m no Gordon
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Ramsey,” he says. “The day I leave the kitchen is the day I leave the industry.” He is steadfast in his commitment to maintaining the quality of his food, even if it means smaller margins. His passion for flavour led him to travel around Europe for months sourcing key ingredients for La Serre —from the produce to the olive oil and even salt. “Ingredients shape the menu, not the other way around,” he says. Ani is particularly proud of the olive oil he uses which comes from a farm in Liguria, Italy. He actually spent a week on the farm with the producer to watch the process of making the oil. He is also a huge supporter of the local organic farms and whenever possible, sources locally. This attention to detail has not gone unnoticed in his career—Ani’s work put Le Petite Maison into The World’s 100 Best Restaurants less than 2 years after opening in Dubai. The Michelin trained chef, restaurateur and innovator is on a constant journey to expand his culinary repertoire. Before he was recruited from London’s Vanilla to come to Dubai, Ani travelled to Spain, where he worked for free for nine months to learn molecular gastronomy cooking. Despite training in many styles, his heart remains in the cuisine of the South of France, where he also spent many years honing his skills. Married to a French woman he met while there, he learned not only the language fluently, but also the culture. When he’s not in the kitchen (which isn’t often, especially now that he is in launch phase) he loves spending time with his wife and kids in Dubai. Always humble, Ani credits the team he works with for his success. And when it comes to comparisons to Le Petite Maison, he says he welcomes it. “It is a great restaurant and wonderful to be considered in the same category.”
Chef Izu Ani
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GIZMOS & GADGETS BMW i3 electric car
The car introduces a number of firsts for the German company. Chief among them is a passenger compartment made from carbon fiber-reinforced plastic resulting in a weight of only 2,600 pounds. The EV is capable of maximum distances ranging between 80 to 100 miles. It can be fully recharged with a 220-volt charger in three hours, but a special fast-charging system can get the i3 fully juiced up in just 30 minutes. Starting at $41,350
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The Retro R7
After three years in development, the R7 music center inspired by 60’s contemporary design is due to be released this autumn. The revolutionary music centre designed in the spirit of the classic radiogram, could easily be mistaken for a piece of fine furniture due to its high quality wooden finish. But its British designers Ruark Audio have managed to create a device that reflects their retro style as well as an audio system that delivers optimal stereo performance through the new dual concentric drivers with the tweeter mounted centrally in the bass-mid unit. The new RotoDial remote also means that you can even control the R7 from an adjoining room. $3,100 / www.ruarkaudio.com
HTC ONE MINI
The HTC One Mini, little brother of the HTC One, is now available globally in Glacial Silver and Stealth Black. The mini retains all the superb display qualities and the same aluminum shell of the HTC’s original flagship phone. As the name suggests, it is just a smaller compact version with the same amount of coolness. The screen is 4.3 inches instead of 4.7 and it has half the memory (1GB). A considerably shorter battery life is one of the big drawbacks of the new phone. Starting from $522 / www.htc.com
Splinter Works has literally elevated the experience of bathing by creating a limited edition (12 pieces) suspended hammock-styled vessel sculpture. Designed for use in a wet room, the Vessel is made from carbon fiber and is suspended from the walls using fixed stainless steel brackets.The tub is filled with a floor standing tap and the wastewater released through the base into a floor drain. It’s also insulated with a foam core so it stays hotter for longer and it can be custom built to different lengths and colours. $34,815 / www.splinterworks.co.uk
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Understated luxury with an edge
olls-Royce are introducing a new generation to the luxury brand with the Wraith model. The 624 bhp-model from the world’s pinnacle super-luxury marque is being targeted at a much younger demographic whilst still presenting a unique character defined by power, style and drama, and a hint of noir, and maintaining the hallmark Rolls-Royce attributes of luxury, refinement and hand-craftsmanship. With an elegant fastback design and the ability to accelerate from 0-100 km/hr in just 4.6 seconds, the Wraith is the most powerful Rolls-Royce ever. At it’s UAE launch, Rolls-Royce’s Regional Director for Middle East, Africa and Latin America, Geoffrey Briscoe, described
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the Wraith as being “the most dynamic, with the boldest styling, but there is also an element of the noir, a sense that this is an edgier car than Ghost, or any other car in the Rolls-Royce line-up,” he said. Wraith’s sweeping fastback design gives the car its unique character. Bold lines, tension in the panels and a raked rear screen evoke the image of a world class athlete poised in the starting blocks. Further expression of dynamic intent can be seen in Wraith’s deeply recessed grille, wide rear track and dramatic two-tone presentation. The car is equally luxurious on the inside. A bespoke Starlight Headliner, available for the first time beyond Phantom family cars, complements the interior ambiance. 1,340 fibre optic lamps are hand-woven into the roof lining to give the impression of a glittering, starry night sky.
Advances in mechanical and electrical technology deliver systems like head-up display, adaptive headlights and Wraithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s keyless opening boot. Improvements in connectivity have taken the humanmachine interface to a new level of sophistication, offering a suite of aids that could be likened to a contemporary on-board valet. Voice activation commands, for example, come with a one-touch call button located on the steering wheel. A destination no longer requires manual input from a navigation menu and route assistance begins immediately, on-screen and via audio guidance following a voice command. The first Wraith model is expected to be on the roads in the UAE by the end of the year.
Technical Specifications Power: 6.6 litre, V12 Transmission: 8 speed automatic ZF Acceleration: 0-60mph in 4.4 secs Top speed: 249 km/h Price: Around $408,385
You can input sat-nav destination info by voice or from afar via the Rolls-Royce Connect smartphone app.
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Luxury Gliding Adastra is a stealth custom build super yacht with a price tag to match.
inner of ‘Most Innovative Design,’ at the World Superyacht Awards this year, the Adastra took three years to build, as well as two years of planning and design before it was unveiled in China last year. Designed by British yacht designer John Shuttleworth for a Hong Kong based couple who commissioned the super yacht at a eye watering $15million, the shape of Adastra has been specially developed to cut through waves as it glides across the high seas. The luxury vessel is 42.5 metres long, 16 metres wide and weighs 52 tons. Shuttleworth said the challenge of turning this concept into a viable luxury yacht has “led us to further research and to develop new thinking on stability and comfort at sea for this type of craft.”
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The hull of the Adastra is built from glass and Kevlar and can house nine guests and six crewmen. To help reduce weight, virtually every aspect of the boat is custom built. This includes carbon fiber hatches, portlights, ladders and even hinges, which are all built specifically for the vessel. Adastra’s 16-metre beam features a saloon area on the main deck with a lounge, dining table, and navigation
station. The deck saloon has a panoramic view while the open cockpit has sofas on both sides. Jepsen Designs, a Hong Kongbased architectural and interior design firm, created their own bespoke design throughout the yacht’s interior. The enormous petrol tank coupled with the dynamic sailing efficiency allows the Adastra to travel up to 4,000 miles without refueling, which is probably why
Boat International magazine said Adastra ‘could spell the future for efficient long range cruising’. Adastra is powered by one Caterpillar C18 engine of 1150hp at 2300 rpm and has 2 Yanmar 110hp @ 3200 rpm outrigger engines. The yacht also has an integrated ship monitoring system, and can even be controlled remotely with an iPad as long as it’s within a 50-metre range.
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Downtown Dining In recent months the dining scene in Downtown Dubai has exploded and the neighborhood is quickly becoming Dubai’s hottest culinary destination.
Mayrig Dubai’s first Armenian restaurant brings the emirate home-style cooking made just the way mayrig (mother in Armenian) would serve it. Step off Downtown’s main boulevard and you are transported into a cozy two level Levantine style home. An outpost of the popular restaurant in Beirut, Mayrig offers Armenian food with a Lebanese accent, including classic dishes like itch (Armenian tabouleh) and creamy hummus. But the must try dishes include Armenian manti, a dumpling filled with lamb, once considered a special occasion treat because of the time consuming process to make it. One recurring theme in Armenian food is the combination of savory and sweet. Mayrig’s meatballs with wild cherry sauce will leave you wanting to add fruit to everything you eat. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, +971 56 364 9794
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Maison Bagatelle The café is a sister to Bistro Bagatelle in the Meatpacking district of New York, infamous for its boisterous brunches replete with sparklers, champagne and tabletop dancing. The Dubai location is far more genteel and chic with whitewashed floors, plush taupe seating, and portraits of starlets adorning the walls. Heading the kitchen is Tim Newton, formerly the chef at La Petite Maison. The café and bakery is perfect for lunch or an afternoon tete-a-tete. The Croque Madame is revelatory— chunks of pillowy bread encasing béchamel, Gruyere cheese, and pastrami topped with a fried egg. For dessert, try the mini éclairs in eclectic flavors such as yuzu and coconut. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, +971 4 420 3442
Kanpai There is an instantly glamorous feeling while walking through the dramatic black onyx corridor of this sexy new Japanese-fusion restaurant and lounge. The dining area blends plush cocoon-like seating with brushed charcoal walls, and is flanked by dramatic handcrafted Samurai figures. The adjacent lounge showcases a resident DJ. However, a state of the art sound system ensures that guests are able to converse with no loss of intimacy. The chef’s special Emperor Itoku, wok-fried tiger prawns, mussels, scallops and squid tossed in a sambal chilli sauce is a must try as is the Miso Cod. The latter dish rivals the one found at that other very famous Japanese restaurant. Try the new business lunch set menu priced at 69 aed. Souk Al Bahar, +971 4 441 9262
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Claw A collusion of three quintessentially American concepts, the barbecue joint, crab shack and grill. The décor can only be described as kitschy— brick walls ornamented with neon signs, tables dressed in gingham cloths, and ceilings draped with fishing nets. In a city with a dining scene that’s typically fussy and uptight, it is refreshing to have a casual spot, where one can don a plastic bib and attack shellfish with wooden mallets. The menu’s calorific offerings include ribs, chicken wings, and buckets of seafood. If your dining company proves not to be particularly compelling, the mechanical bull in the back has been supplied for entertainment. Souk Al Bahar, +9714 4322300
La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie This Parisian-style restaurant in the newly launched Vida hotel is manned by a team with an impressive pedigree. Chef Izu Ani previously worked at The Square in London, Auberge de L’Ill in France, and Dubai’s La Petite Maison. General manager Heather McKnight’s past experience includes Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck. The boulangerie downstairs, evoking Southern France with its light and airy interiors, serves breakfast, freshly baked breads and viennoiserie. A grand staircase leads to the bistro upstairs, which offers a Mediterranean influenced menu featuring fresh and organic ingredients sourced from farmers and artisan suppliers throughout Europe. A chef’s table in the kitchen is also available for VIPs and discerning guests. Vida Hotel, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard +971 4 428 6888
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RADO HYPERCHROME AUTOMATIC CHRONOGRAPH MONOBLOC CASE ENGINEERED IN HIGH-TECH CERAMIC Andy Murray
Improving posture and breathing to maximise performance By Keith Littlewood
pain The way we breathe has been linked to many t on our impac major a has also and s nction provoking dysfu And . move body’s digestion, anxiety and the way that we t. impac an has it’s not just breathing while exercising that the and re postu work tary For example, the seated seden or g runnin ce distan long say, over exercised posture from similar effect excessive abdominal workouts can have a postural fault on comm A rn. patte hing breat ’s on the body optimal is tension in the abdominal muscles restricting ation. inspir of le diaphragmatic action, the primary musc the of ing round re, postu This can cause forward head in up show also can which , back, changes to the spine and pain ng causi on, functi ankle and foot d knee and altere is on hing breat e ensur help steps easy These . discomfort track.
Assessing breathing patterns
A simple test to help determine some level of breathing pattern dysfunction is to place a hand on your chest and a hand on your abdomen. Take a breath in and notice where most of the movement occurs. At least two thirds of the movement should occur with the belly moving away from the spine and the last third shifting into expansion, laterally and backwards into the thorax or chest.
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If you find that much of the movement occurs in the chest and you often feel tension in the neck then this may be an indication of breathing pattern dysfunction. The neck stretch that is pictured can help most people who are in a constant seated position if you suffer from neck tension and should be completed every hour throughout the day at work.
Another reason why many people have breathing pattern dysfunction besides computer and exercise posture is from being told to constantly draw the belly button in. Whilst this may be prudent when completing strenuous lifting techniques when exercising, it can cause an overworking of the chest and neck muscles. A little help can be to release the tissue of the abdomen and under the ribs as shown in the picture. The very least you can do to help the way you breathe is let your belly hang naturally to help you breathe much easier when not lifting heavy amounts.
Principles of Good Posture
1: The head should be aligned. Forward head posture is when the head migrates forward. Due to tight neck muscles. Posture is ideal when head, neck spine, hips knee and ankle are in alignment.
2: Shoulder blade should be flushed with the rib cage
3: The curve in your middle spine should be approximately 35 degrees and not slumped forwards.
5: Shoulder height should be relatively even 6: If your kneecaps face inwards or outwards this can cause knee pain. Ideally try to keep them straight. 7: Toes should ideally point forwards, however when dysfunction in the core muscles occurs, the feet become prone to internal and external rotation.
4: An increase in the tilt of your pelvis can cause lower back problems.
Keith Littlewood is a rehabilitation and performance specialist based at Scandinavian Health & Performance in JLT, Dubai. For more information contact the team at www.shpdubai.com
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Rolling stone Rezvan Sadeghzadeh’s new work explores women and symbolic obstacles in a male dominated society. By Sylvia Byatt
ranian painter Rezvan Sadeghzadeh presents a new collection of oil paintings this month with his latest exhibition, Passing the Crisis held at Dubai’s Ayyam Gallery DIFC until October 15th. His new collection of works directly addresses emotions such as apprehension, hope and fear by presenting lonesome anonymous female figures often dwarfed by imposing stones and boulders. The abstract artist, who was the winner at the 7th Tehran Biennial in 2003, often depicts women facing obstacles in a male-dominated society and this exhibition explores his signature theme even further. “I see my work as a mix of Iranian and Japanese painting fused with my own ideas” explains the 59-year-old. “Women, stones, and trees are three major elements
120 X 100 cm. Oil on Canvas
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and I prefer to focus on a single subject to achieve depth in painting.” He goes on to explain that the reoccurrence of stones and other objects; such as bayonets, candles and doors in his works represent organisms with a life and energy of their own. “I came across these elements on streets of the town in which I live and they have gradually found their way into my work. They are valuable to me as they carry paradoxical concepts within them.” These double meanings within Sadeghzadeh’s work enable the audience to interpret each piece in their own way— for instance the stone can be a rigid, remorseless object, or can similarly also represent persistence and stoicism. A candle can be representative of mourning or, to a different eye, celebration. “I envy and admire great painters of the world including Ingres, Delacroix, Rembrandt and Matisse. And I am very much interested in works of Iranian, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern painters too,” Sadeghzadeh explains. It comes as no surprise that the poetry of Hafiz, with its subtle layers of meaning, inspires the artist’s work. He continues, “I paint my life and live my paintings. I prefer to adhere to a firm principle that can rule both my paintings and life.”
170 X 150 cm. Oil on Canvas
‘Untitled’ 100 X 150 cm. Acrylic on Canvas 2013
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his once gritty city of Seoul has re-emerged as a dynamic Asian hotspot— serving as World Design Capital in 2010, a major engine of popculture, and a leading supplier of high-end gadgetry. Seoul’s booming contemporary arts scene, fashionable stores and hip restaurants now rival other Asian hubs such as Tokyo. Like most post-war capitals rebuilt from rubble, Seoul is a riot of concrete and glass with traffic congested avenues and purpose-built high-rises. Its astonishing post-war growth, due primarily to an export fueled economy, has earned the 600-year old city the moniker, “the miracle on the Han.”
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In recent years, Seoul has become equally well known for its softer skills— exporting K-pop music, cutting-edge fashion, and, thanks to Samsung, the latest in technology to the West. Simultaneously, the city has undergone a slight makeover with new parks, galleries and cultural centres popping up. The Cheongyecheon stream, a formerly neglected water source that once served as the sewers of the Joseon Dynasty, has been re-imagined as an urban park. Located 4.6 m below street level, it creates an oasis of serenity as it weaves through the most hectic parts of the city. The upgrades are not limited to new developments. An ongoing citywide project to restore heritage buildings
All Photos from Corbis / arabianEye.com
Nausheen Noor travels to Seoul, South Korea to find out why a country that was left in shambles after the Korean War has emerged as one of Asia’s most sought after destinations.
and palaces has opened some properties to the public for the first time. Highlights include the stoic 14th century Namdaemun gate which now anchors a popular shopping district and the Bukchon Hanok Village, a charmingly preserved street of traditional homes which transports visitors back six centuries. It is virtually impossible to go hungry in this city where it seems people are perpetually eating and drinking. Even the Korean staple kimchi, seasoned fermented vegetables, doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t escape the trendy stampâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; it was recently named a superfood. Streets are lined with pastry shops, snack outlets, and elderly Korean ladies operating street-food stalls. Japanese colonization has also left its
mark on the local cuisine; the quality of the sushi is equal to that found across the street. Seoul is surrounded by eight mountains and just a short trip to the suburbs brings you to the foot of the 2 Bukhansan National Park, an 80 km area of forests and granite peaked mountains. Whilst hiking through this natural nirvana, visitors are accompanied by the meditative sound of trickling water and stumble upon stunning vistas, hidden mountain temples, and parts of The Fortress Wall of Seoul first built in 1396 AD. There are plans to reconnect the wall to the super-modern city down below, literally bridging Seoulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s medieval past with its ultra-bright future.
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The first royal palace built by the Joseon dynasty, the palace and surrounding pavilions are part of an ongoing government effort to restore the buildings destroyed during the Japanese occupation. The grounds feature 10 story tall stone pagodas and the uniquely Korean gardens.
Bukhansan National Park
Insadong A tourist hotspot, but nonetheless not-to-be missed. This pedestrian street, is lined with streetfood vendors, antique shops, and galleries, tea houses and restaurants.
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All Photos from Corbis / arabianEye.com
Located just outside the city, this sprawling park is a treasure of stunning vistas dotted with remote Buddhist temples and ancient Han fortresses. The trails range from 2 hours for the dallying meanderer to 12 hours hikes for the intrepid trekker.
Leeum Samsung Museum of Art
The collection of three independent buildings symbolizes Seoul’s ancient past, post-Modern present, and future. One of the best art collections in the world, the museum houses everything from ancient Korean ceramics to works by Mark Rothko and Anish Kapoor.
Where to stay W
Trendy and bright, this hotel remains popular choice despite it’s isolated location. The hotel’s Woo Bar is a permanent Seoul hotspot with some of the best views in the city. 175 Achaseong-gil, Gwangjin-gu, +82 2 465 2222; from $400 a night
The stunning lobby, located on the 24th floor, features wall-to-wall windows showing off the affluent avenues of Gangnam down below. The understated luxury of the rooms exhibit much of the signature style of Tokyo design firm Super Potato— clean lines, warm amber lighting, and juxtaposition of wood and stone. Service is personalized and attentive. The Timber House basement bar, is exquisitely designed with reclaimed wood from Korean traditional homes and features nightly live jazz. 995-14, Daechi 3-dong, Gangnam-gu; +82 2 2016 1234; from $400 a night
Recently the subject of the most expensive hotel renovation in Korean luxury hotel history by Guido Ciompi, the result is a more intimate, boutique hotel feel. It is close to all of the traditional sights of the city including various palaces and museums and the Myeong-dong shopping district. 23 Taepyeongno 2-ga, Jung-gu; +82 2 771 2200; from $330 a night
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little black book
Little Black Book Warsaw International Polish photographer Greg Adamski rsaw, spends his time between Wa ng oti sho i Hamburg and Duba for L’Officiel, Marie Claire is and Rolling Stone. His work ors, inspired by the great outdo ter bet o wh so , places and people the to s to share the inner secret Polish capital of Warsaw… By Sylvia Byatt
Contemporary Homeware “My favourite shop is Reset. Head south along Pulawska and you’ll find it at No.48 on the corner of Dadrowskiego Street. It’s a unique interior design store, but also serves as a gallery and showroom. It’s great for one-off design furniture, cool stuff for your home and gifts. They also exhibit paintings from niche Polish and International artists.” www.resetpoint.pl
Breakfast & Art “My favourite place in Warsaw for breakfast is MiTo Art Cafe. They’ve got a great open bar and you eat in front of amazing contemporary art. It’s a good way to start the day, plus they also sell some of the best magazines from around the whole world.” www.mito.art.pl
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little black book
Healthy Burger Joint “There’s a huge boom for local, independent hamburger joints, created around various cool concepts. You can always find really good fresh meat burgers but if you’re vegan (or fancy something a bit different) I would recommend going to Krowarzywa. It only opened this year, but they make amazing ‘burgers’ from chick peas and vegetables and it’s always packed.” www.facebook.com/Krowarzywa
Fashion Fix “If you’re into designer brands and cool contemporary names, the Mokotowska Street is ’ll You p. best place to sho m fro s find showroom great local designer’s here.”
I love to observe how Warsaw is still changing and how Polish people are finding their own roots in design, photography and architecture. It’s a real up-and-coming city.
Coffee for Connoisseurs “For coffee, head to Kofi Brand in the Soho Factory District. Here you can find around 250 different kinds of coffee, all roasted in house. I call it a showroom for coffee.” www.kofibrand.pl
Art Gallery is a must“Zacheta National Gallery of Art and it never g goin love visit when in Poland. I room show st olde ’s saw gets boring. It’s War it holds and ), 1860 to k bac s stem (the history orary art some of the most exciting contemp in Poland.” www.zacheta.art.pl
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Lifestyle Editor Aysha Majid divulges heavenly hideaways and exceptional service from some of the world’s most luxurious hotels.
Quintessential Luxury North Island, Seychelles Arriving via helicopter is a taster of what’s to come, the epitome of indulgence with magnanimous charm. This private island (previously honeymoon destination to the UK’s Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) ticks a myriad of boxes, with a conscience to boot. 11 private villas boast generous indoor/outdoor living; with kitchen, dining area, cinema room, whirlpool, showers and huge bathroom showcasing a tub fit for two. Elegant incorporation of recycled wood and cleverly dropped hints of treasure evocative of pirate ship tales and Robinson Crusoe lure. And of course it offers no less than your own electric buggy and beach, spa with a dreamy view of the island’s pristine beaches and turquoise waters, a cliff-top pool, restaurant, two bars and an unspoiled tropical utopia of critically endangered, endemic flora and fauna. Passionately dedicated staff organise excursions, while personal butlers plan whimsical picnics, often subtly furnishing you with what you want before the words even leave your mouth. From $2,589 per person per night, inc. select f&b
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Exotic Hacienda Cuixmala, Mexico The estate owned by the family of the late Sir James Goldsmith, has played home to monarchical and Hollywood royalty throughout the years. This enchanting 25,000 acre nature reserve by the sea, complete with zebras and freshwater crocodiles, is a fairytale of whitewashed palatial grandeur and terracotta charm, with vibrant splashes of tropical toned silk. The light and airy private villas surrounded by luscious gardens are staffed with a personal butler and cook, with a tranquil panorama of ocean, river and lagoons serving as the backdrop. From picnics cushioned by manicured lawns to polo matches, exploring the estate on horseback, or taking a boat ride along the river, Cuixmala’s staff aim to grant guests their every wish. Ecology plays an integral part of the property’s cultural ethos—the owners have been instrumental in establishing numerous programs to protect the surrounding ecosystem. From $400-$16,000 per night
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Old School Elegance Palazzo Avino, Italy Oozing charm, this classically sophisticated hotel boasts mesmerising views of the Mediterranean and mountains. An in-house concierge ensures all guests â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;special treatmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, whether requiring a limousine or helicopter, reservations, concert tickets or boat trips. Rooms are decorated with handmade Vietri tiles, Hermes fabrics, baroque antiques, Bulgari amenities and Frette linen. Guests wash down the Amalfi Coast vista with a choice of no less than 65 different Martinis, fresh local lobster. Set in the Palazzo Avino gardens, the spa offers a hydro pool, sauna, Turkish steam bath and treatment rooms, and the rooftop solarium with alfresco whirlpools is the perfect spot to watch the sunset with a crisp glass of Prosecco. Not enough ticked boxes? There is also a pool and two restaurants, as well as Clubhouse by the Sea (open May-September) located in the small, nearby town of Marmorata (complimentary shuttle available). Here guests can enjoy lunch in the Clubhouse Restaurant, access the swimming pool, changing facilities and living rooms, and receive complimentary beach entry. From $320-$2,200 per night
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City Bigwig Peninsula, Tokyo The amber toned Peninsula stands tall as one of the supercharged capitalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most prestigious hotels, with the Ginza district and bustling Tsukiji Fish Market right on its doorstep. Beautifully furnished with sleek marble interiors and immaculate staff offering an unwavering standard of service. The spacious rooms, lacquered furniture, rich earthy tones and impressive, kinetic views of the city all pander to the luxury business traveller, with loyal nuances of Kiyoto charm and Japanese heritage. A fleet of Rolls-Royces ferry guests to city hotspots. The spa with its rice paper shoji screens ensures privacy and channels true Tokyo living. A high-flying health club with pools and fitness centre, five restaurants, a bar and terrace overlooking the Imperial Palace gardens, are a glimpse of what this shining landmark has to offer. From $620 per night
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Design statement One of Dubaiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newest design concept stores, BOLD, marries daring interior design with bespoke locally made furniture and the precision of German engineering.
Blue Moroccan Lamp $626 Medy Nahravani and Zohreh Dastmaltchi
Walnut dining table. $40,000
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"Unlike ‘custom-made’, a bespoke design defines and encompasses everything that is truly unique and individual."
Locust Wood Chair $3,500
Green ‘Living Walls’ bring nature indoors
BOLD bespoke design sofa $5,173
reative director and founder of Bold Bespoke Designs, Medy Nahravani, believes there is nothing like truly bespoke finishes. “Unlike ‘custom-made’, a bespoke design defines and encompasses everything that is truly unique and individual,” he says. Nahravani who is also a German trained architect, along with design consultant Zohreh Dastmaltchi and a team of experts ranging from lighting to landscape designers, are bringing the UAE a different take on home design that includes bold statement pieces and paired back classics with a twist. They share with GC some of the most interesting pieces for the home, including a 13 foot long slab of American black walnut that has been made into a dining table with handmade solid brass legs. In their production house, the team at Bold works with clients to develop pieces that match their lifestyle needs, utilizing luxury fabrics – from Missoni, Etro, Jean Paul Gaultier and Dedar leathers by Lelievre.
Caribou Lounge Chair $7,250
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Racing gloves, Salvatore Ferragamo, Dubai Mall, $545
Leather Oxford Boots, Grenson, www.mrporter.com $733
Sunglasses, Tods, price upon request, Dubai Mall
Key chain, Salvatore Ferragamo, Dubai Mall $174
Sports Crossover GC bridges the gap of fashion and sportswear, assuring a win-win whether on the track, out at sea or at the country club. Bespoke golf brogues, www.treccanimilano.com, $1,100
Golf cart, Garia, P.O.A., www.garia.com
Treccani Milano offers custom options; in calf, ostrich, tejus, and deer skin.
Striped polo shirt, J Lindeberg, www.jlindeberg.com, $119 78 GC September / October 2013
Bag, Tods, Dubai Mall, $2,012
Golf shoes, J Lindeberg, www.jlindeberg. com, $238
Watch, Salvatore Ferragamo, Dubai Mall $2,041
Paisley print cotton polo, Etro, mrporter.com $237
Jodhpur boots, Todâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Dubai Mall $686
Sportswear for the style conscious gentleman
Racing glasses, Salvatore Ferragamo, P. O.A., Dubai Mall
Tweed Shooting Breeks, musto, www.mrporter.com $345
Orange trim cotton polo, Gucci, Dubai Mall, $475 Boat Shoes, swims, www.mrporter.com, $176
2013 September / October GC 79
Colonial Horology GC examines luxury timepieces with epoch charisma...
Baume & Mercier’s
‘Capeland Worldtimer 10107’ is 18K red gold with a polished/satin finish. Water resistant to 50metres, with an alligator strap, dial features include Arabic numerals. Sport-chic, it epitomises a relaxed lifestyle with a vintage edge. Baume & Mercier and Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons boutiques, $19,163
A. Lange & Söhne’s Richard Lange Tourbillon ‘Pour le Mérite’ in pink gold, is hand-wound with a 41.90mm diameter. An inimitable feature is the aperture in the subsidiary seconds dial, through which the tourbillon can be observed. A. Lange & Söhne and Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons boutiques, $185,260
Maîtres du Temps
newly developed ‘Chapter Three Reveal’ is for those seeking a fine balance between classical elegance and preparedness, with a discreet pusher which opens secret panels in the dial revealing second time zone and day/night indications on rollers. Select Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons stores, $109,853
80 GC September / October 2013
80 hours on your side
TissoT Luxury AuTomATic
An exceptional and timeless piece offering 80 hours of power reserve with the revolutionary certified chronometer Powermatic 80 movement, in a 316L stainless steel casing with see-through caseback and water resistance up to 5 bar (50 m / 165 ft).
in TOUCH wiTH yOUr Time Get in touch at www.tissot.ch
TIME FOR THE PLANET
Time is precious. It’s why we are obsessed both with measuring it precisely and using it meaningfully. To that end, we share GoodPlanet Foundation’s mission to preserve the health and beauty of our oceans for future generations. A part of the proceeds from each special edition Planet Ocean GMT dual time zone watch supports this call to action. It’s time to give something back to the planet. www.omegawatches.com/goodplanet
OMEGA Boutiques - Dubai: BurJuman • Deira City Centre • Dubai Mall • Dubai Festival City • Mall of the Emirates • Mina A’Salam • Mirdif City Centre • Sahara Centre • Waﬁ and at select Rivoli Stores. Toll Free: 800-RIVOLI